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Latest Figures 283 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed with 60 coronavirus patients in hospital

This is down seven Covid-19 patients in hospital from yesterday

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A Covid-19 swab test. Photo by: Joe Giddens/PA

A Covid-19 swab test. Photo by: Joe Giddens/PA

A Covid-19 swab test. Photo by: Joe Giddens/PA

A further 283 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed today by the Department of Health. 

There are now 60 coronavirus patients in hospital and 23 in ICU. This is down seven Covid-19 patients in hospital from yesterday as the ICU figure remains the same.

There is currently no up-to-date data available on coronavirus-related deaths due to the HSE cyber attack.

This comes as a review published by the HSE yesterday has recommended that antigen tests shouldn’t be used for testing Covid-19 in asymptomatic people as a “significant proportion” of positive cases would be missed.

The review, which was conducted by the HSE Covid-19 antigen testing working group, found that one antigen test with asymptomatic people detected just 52pc of positive cases compared to a PCR test.

However, it picked up 80pc of positive cases of symptomatic people - those who had strongly positive PCR tests.

The working group recommends that because people with a low level of the virus, like the ones the antigen tests mightn't pick up, are still infectious, “testing systems that detect the virus at the lowest possible level are generally preferred.”

PCR is the standard test currently used by the HSE.

Whereas the results of antigen tests can be given within minutes, PCR swabs must be sent to a lab for analysis.

There have been calls from some quarters, such as the travel industry, to deploy the rapid antigen tests in order to allow travellers to get results and allow them to travel much faster than a PCR test.

However, Nphet members including chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan oppose the use of the tests as they say they are not accurate enough.

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The HSE said there is a place for antigen testing with people who are symptomatic and that there is a wide variation in sensitivity among the tests so recommendations cannot be applied to all antigen tests.

It recommends that antigen testing can be used for symptomatic people while they are waiting for a PCR test. This is the system that has been used in certain workplaces such as meat plants.

It also noted that “there may be other settings in which a test that detects some infected or infectious people that would otherwise go undetected can be useful.”

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